We had the good fortune of connecting with Mark Indig and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Mark, what role has risk played in your life or career?
The dictionary defines risk (the noun) as “a possibility of loss or injury” and (as a verb) as “to expose to hazard or danger.” Personally, I prefer to follow a path of “managed” risk. I’ll never be an Alex Hannold, free-climbing Yosemite (or Yo-Semite), but as mostly a freelancer for decades in film production and photography, the beginning of each job or project is a leap into the unknown. And the end of each job can be even more unnerving. But being thoughtful about your options and actions helps manage the risk.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I spent over 40 years in film production, most recently as a Studio Executive, Producer & Unit Production Manager. But the first 15 years I was a Location Scout/Manager. This is a very unique and challenging job; at the level of feature films the number of people who do it probably number only in the low thousands around the world. Even after I transitioned to other production jobs, from that experience I developed two passions that stayed with me to this day, photography and travel. These form the basis of my art, even though I don’t do “travel photography.” My experience scouting locations taught me how to find interesting, sometimes obscure places and capture their essence so they could eventually become as important in a film as the characters. Over time I developed a style for location-based photo projects that evolved from my movie experience. Something I had to learn early on was “the art of getting lost,” which was a great lesson in art as well as life. So many discoveries are made by taking the road less traveled and finding your way back.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
This has happened many, many times with visiting friends and mostly involves the outdoors. Of course all the local beaches, deserts and mountains (a favorite is the lift up to Mt. Baldy). But other trips were to the Salton Sea, Death Valley, the Central Valley, US 1 North & South and the Sierras. A favorite hike for out-of-towners is the trail that starts at the old Nike silo above Encino and goes to the Palisades.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
1) To my past signifiant others and current wife, Annie Shun-Wen Wu, who put up with my absences for up to a year at a time to distant places. 2) To the Directors Guild of America, which made it possible for me to enjoy a 2nd phase of life as a photographer. 3) The community of amazing and generous LA photographers I’ve gotten to know and show with over the years.